Although it’s important not to under-sell the value of great content, if copy doesn’t appeal visually to viewers, it’s probably not going to get read. There are four steps every local business owner should take to enhance the readability of the organization’s website copy.
1.) Highlight key messages. Analyze what key points you want your readers to take away from each piece you create about your local business. Consider if you can better help a reader make connections and enhance the overall flow of the article by using section headers or bulleted lists. Often long stretches of text detract from the perceived readability of the piece.
2.) Keep paragraphs short. To the point in number one, breaking up text is naturally more visually appealing online. Therefore, it is typically beneficial to keep distinct thoughts to two or three sentences. Naturally, this approach can make writing more succinct.
3.) Stay away from long sentences. Not only should your paragraphs be short, but so should your sentences. Writing for the web requires thoughts to be conveyed as concisely as possible. Further conjunctions are often perfectly accepted and help meet this aim. Obviously, it is important to consider the tone of the site the content is being created for, but often the tone will be more conversational in nature. If you wouldn’t speak the way you’re writing copy for a website, you may need to consider if you’re being more formal or using more words than needed.
4.) Use images that complement the content. By nature, we’re drawn to images, and therefore, it’s valuable to include relevant images in content. An image an actually convince a reader to look further at your local business copy. However, an image can also do the exact opposite. If the image associated with web content is distracting or disturbing to a potential reader, he/she will avoid your content. In this case, it doesn’t matter if you’ve followed the three previous recommendations exactly, no one is going to read it. Therefore, it’s important to find a balance. A pleasing, perhaps simple, visual which makes the reader pause and look further at your content. Once a viewer begins to interact with the content, then content and readability suggestions above take over.
In today’s social media filled world, text and visuals have become intertwined. Therefore, your local business marketing must successfully incorporate text and imagery in a way that balances the other while not detracting from the overall aim of the message. It’s a delicate balance which can take practice to perfect!
For more information on how to create visually appealing website copy, read 3 Must-Have Elements to Make Your Web Copy Visually Appealing by eLance guest poster, Bob Younce.
Chris Marentis, through his company Surefire Social, leverages website development, search engine optimization and social media marketing to generate leads and boost local businesses.